E Books Habibi It s just too bad This book is conceived in a truly spectacular way and visually it succeeds and succeeds and succeeds Even at its most whimsical and farflung the stories of the pr
E-Books Habibi It's just too bad. This book is conceived in a truly spectacular way, and visually, it succeeds and succeeds and succeeds. Even at its most whimsical and farflung, the stories of the prophets and the references to mysticism thread elegantly through the narrative. Thompson has a knack for portraying themes through symbolism in an elaborate, poignant manner. The book was at its best, actually, during these side-stories. The basic narrative is, rather literally, fucked. The theme of the story is commodification, consumption, exploitation, and Thompson undermines all of it through his depictions of women. Dodola is exploited and raped again and again and again in a particularly unsettling manner: you can see that the narrative is grappling with some serious problems through these events, but she's also positioned in repellingly titillating ways as it's happening. Women are given plenty of excuses to be naked (and their bodies are generally given the same idealized shape); men are stuffed into formless drapery; and nobody has any kind of meaningful sex until the end. The last point would not be an issue if Thompson's treatment of sex left it at a point of convincing redemption. It's not that exploitation, as a topic, is off-limits (and believe me I have SO MUCH sympathy for the environmental parallels he draws); it's the fact that you shouldn't engage in a practice you're actively condemning! For instance, the scene where Dodola, as a nine-year-old, has compassion for her much older husband's vulnerabilities is moving and brave. What is not moving and brave is the way Thompson depicts her during this panel - naked, approaching him sexually - and the fact that this compassion manifests as (it's implied) "tending to his needs." And this isn't even to touch the flagrant Orientalism. For a book so meticulously researched you'd think he'd at least know to avoid all those harem cliches. For god's sake. So, so disappointing to see someone so talented fail in such a fundamental way. http://www.powells.com/biblio/2-97803.... Habibi go inside Ebook From the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets A triumph for the genre Library Journal , a highly anticipated new graphic novel Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between themFrom the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets A triumph for the genre Library Journal , a highly anticipated new graphic novel Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world not unlike our own fueled by fear, lust, and greed and as they discover the extraordinary depth and frailty of their connection At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.. Craig Ringwalt Thompson b September 21, 1975 in Traverse City, Michigan is a graphic novelist best known for his 2003 work Blankets Thompson has received four Harvey Awards, two Eisner Awards, and two Ignatz Awards In 2007, his cover design for the Menomena album Friend and Foe received a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package.. A viral Kindle Habibi I don't usually read graphic novels, but on the recommendation of my roommate (and the fact that this is one beautiful-looking book) I started reading this. At first, I wasn't sure how to review it, because frankly I had a lot of conflicting feelings about it. Some parts I loved, some parts I hated, some parts I wonder if I just misunderstood. But it's okay, because that just means I was given an opportunity to write a review in what is, personally, my favorite reviewing style, which is:THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY. Aw yeah. Better use the bathroom and grab a snack, guys, we're gonna be here a while. THE GOOD: first, this is a gorgeous graphic novel. Every page is filled with details that I probably didn’t even notice because I was whipping through the story so fast (despite being 700 pages, you can get through this in a couple days because of all the pictures), and it made me want to go back and just look at the pages without noticing the words. And the story is equally wonderful: Dodola and Zam, brought together as slave children, escape and spend several years living in the desert together. Dodola teaches Zam to read and tells him stories, which are interspersed throughout the novel. Then Dodola is kidnapped and sold to a harem and Zam is left to fend for himself, and they each have to learn to survive in their new circumstances while trying to find each other. Zam and Dodola are fantastic characters, and I loved the Quaran stories – the best part is when Dodola tells stories that also appear in the Old Testament, and my personal favorite was seeing the differences between the two versions of Abraham sacrificing his son. The story is told in shifting timelines, which was confusing at first, but I figured it out after a few pages, and did I mention that the drawings are gorgeous? Everyone should take a moment and read this review, which includes pictures from the novel. See what I mean? So despite what the next two sections are going to say, this is a really moving and beautiful story, and will stay with me for a long time. This is despite (or maybe because) of certain uncomfortable elements. Strap yourselves in and prepare for…THE BAD: as other reviewers have pointed out, this book has a lot of uncomfortably Orientalist elements. For a while, everything is going well: Dodola is a strong, educated woman who tells Zam stories from the Quaran and teaches him calligraphy. But then she gets kidnapped and thrown in a harem, and it all goes to hell as we’re transported into one of those 19th century paintings made by European men who had never even seen a harem. Considering how thoughtful and generally un-stereotypical the rest of Thompson’s portrayal of the Middle East is, it was a real disappointment to read the harem sections of the story and find that he didn’t even try to subvert or disprove the stereotypes and misconceptions. Instead, he just goes all-out with the fetishism of the harem and all the ugly stereotypes that go with it: The luxurious palace is full of scheming eunuchs and kindly black slaves, and the harem women are catty bitches who fight each other for the attention of the fat, lecherous sultan. Thompson commits so whole-heartedly to portraying every myth and misconception about harems that I almost suspect he did it on purpose (he spent six years researching this book; I would assume that at some point he learned that the story of sultans choosing which girl to sleep with by throwing his handkerchief at her was almost certainly made up by white men), but if that’s the case, I don’t see how it benefits his story. If this is a tongue-in-cheek mockery of Orientalist stereotypes, it’s too subtle for me to grasp. THE UGLY: This book is about a lot of things: love, religion, family, survival, freedom, courage, and sex. Really, it’s mostly about sex. The protagonist, Dodola, spends probably 60% of her story time having sex. Guess how many times that sex is consensual? ONE GODDAMN TIME IN 700 PAGES. Yeah.There is a lot of rape in this book, starting with the first few pages when nine-year-old Dodola is deflowered by her adult husband, and it only gets worse from there. Over 700 pages, Dodola is coerced into sex, forced to trade sex in order to survive, and straight-up pinned to the ground and violently raped, and Thompson draws these scenes in so much detail that reading them started to feel voyeuristic at best. At worst, Thompson seems to be eroticizing rape. And of course, because this is essentially a book about sex, that means there’s going to be a lot of naked people. Or, more accurately…TITS. TITS EVERYWHERE. TIT-SPLOSION. TIT-POCALYPSE. Tits knockers jugs ta-tas hooters boobies BREASTS ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE. I would estimate that the page-to-tit ratio in this story is about 1:4. Just about every female character spends most of her time being topless, and Dodola herself is topless or just butt-ass naked for about 80% of the story. The good news is that with the sheer volume of bare breasts in this story, the book would make an absolutely stellar present for any 12-year-old boys you might know. Christmas is coming up, guys!I don’t want to give the impression that I’m offended by nudity. Far from it. However, I support equal-opportunity nudity, which means that if I have to spend my reading time looking at boobs, there had better be some dicks to balance things out. And that’s where this book ventures into awkward territory. On the rare occasions that penises make an appearance in the story, they’re drawn with about as much detail as that time in The Simpsons Movie when we see Bart’s junk for two seconds. (Female) pubic hair is shown exactly once, and every other time naked women appear they all seem to be freshly waxed, even if it makes no sense in the context of the story for them to be that way. So considering how some, shall we say, less-photogenic aspects of human sexuality are presented, it is staggering how much time Thompson spends drawing boobs. He won’t draw penises with anything close to anatomical accuracy and lets us see Dodola’s pubic hair only once, but he draws female characters' bare breasts so frequently, with so much loving detail and from every possible angle, that I could probably draw Dodola’s boobs from memory. But I can’t draw, so luckily we’re all spared that particular exercise.What results is, ultimately, not a celebration of human sexuality or even female sexuality. This is a celebration of WOOHOO TITTAYS, which seriously distracts from the overall amazingness of the actual story. So in conclusion: a beautiful, tragic story that is gorgeously drawn and very well-done, but ultimately there are too many problematic elements for me to be able to give this more than three stars. Should you read it anyway? Yes. But be prepared for some ugliness to come with the beautiful.
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